The World's Least Affordable Cities to Buy a Home

  2/20/2021 |   SHARE
Posted in Global Real Estate Markets by Sam Cuda & Nancy Cuda | Back to Main Blog Page

Real Estate Information

In certain parts of the world, housing prices have risen much faster than household incomes, making home ownership increasingly more difficult for the average Joe.

Using data from Demographia published in 2020, this graphic looks at some of the world’s most expensive housing markets.

The Least Affordable Housing Markets

It’s worth noting that this data looks at housing affordability specifically for middle-income earners. While it’s far from globally exhaustive, it measures affordability in 309 major metropolitan areas across Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, the U.S., and the UK.

In this study, a city’s affordability is calculated by taking its median housing price and dividing it by the median household income.

  • Moderately Unaffordable: 3.1 to 4.0
  • Seriously Unaffordable: 4.1 to 5.0
  • Severely Unaffordable: 5.1+

All the cities on this graphic classify as severely unaffordable. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Hong Kong is the most unaffordable housing market—scoring 20.8 to take the top spot.

Housing Market Country Score
Hong Kong 🇨🇳 China 20.8
Vancouver, BC 🇨🇦 Canada 11.9
Sydney, NSW 🇦🇺 Australia 11.0
Melbourne, VIC 🇦🇺 Australia 9.5
Los Angeles, CA 🇺🇸 United States 9.0
Auckland 🇳🇿 New Zealand 8.6
Toronto, ON 🇨🇦 Canada 8.6
San Jose, CA 🇺🇸 United States 8.5
San Francisco, CA 🇺🇸 United States 8.4
London (Greater London Authority) 🇬🇧 United Kingdom 8.2
Honolulu, HI 🇺🇸 United States 8.0
San Diego, CA 🇺🇸 United States 7.3
Adelaide, SA 🇦🇺 Australia 6.9
Bournemouth & Dorsett 🇬🇧 United Kingdom 6.9

Home to 7.5 million people, Hong Kong has ranked as the world’s least affordable city for 10 consecutive years. Because of its steep housing prices, nano apartments have risen in popularity over the last decade.


Source: Visual Capitalist

Global Housing Market, Housing Affordability, World Real Estate Markets

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